News Briefs – August 31, 2018

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U.S. military airstrike in Somalia against al-Shabab kills 3

The U.S. military says it has carried out an airstrike in Somalia against al-Shabab extremists, killing three fighters.
The U.S. Africa Command statement says the strike was carried out on Monday about 24 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
The U.S. has carried out 21 such strikes this year against the Somalia-based al-Shabab. The al Qaeda-linked group is the deadliest Islamic extremist organization in sub-Saharan Africa and it often targets Mogadishu with deadly attacks.
The U.S. since late last year also has carried out a number of drone strikes against a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State organization in the northern part of the Horn of Africa nation. AP
 

NATO reports Russian naval buildup amid Syria tensions

NATO says the Russian navy is building up its presence in the Mediterranean Sea amid growing tensions over the war in Syria.
The alliance’s chief spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, on Aug. 29 said “we will not speculate on the intention of the Russian fleet, but it is important that all actors in the region exercise restraint and refrain from worsening an already disastrous humanitarian situation in Syria.”
She says several ships are equipped with cruise missiles.
Russian defense officials could not be reached for comment. At least eight ships, including a missile cruiser and two missile-carrying submarines, have joined the Russian flotilla over the past three weeks.
Russia has provided crucial military support for Syrian government forces, which are expected to mount an offensive against rebels in the northern Idlib province. AP